Someone say that 2016 is the year of VR. While the statement itself is debatable, it's undeniable that something in the industry started moving in that direction now that the technology reached a point where augmented and virtual reality are actually a possibility. Things that we thought sci-fi-worthy ten years ago, like the hologram powered duels of the Yu-Gi-Oh anime, are starting to take shape. That's the case with Hologrid: Monster Battle, an AR strategic card game developed by HappyGiant with the collaboration of Phil Tippett, 2-time Academy Award winning Visual Effects Supervisor and Director and also one of the guys behind the visual effects of the original Star Wars trilogy, Robocop, Jurassic Park and much more.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fVS5qqXek4
Simply put, Hologrid is something between Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone and classic boardgames. It uses physical collectible cards on a gameboard and it will make use of the augmented reality to make the cards come to life and battle in front of the players. It will, of course, be designed with the emerging augmented reality technologies like Hololens, Magic Leap and Vuforia-like tech in mind but it will also be playable on old regular PCs, less old and regular VR headsets and even on mobile platforms.
While the concept of the game itself makes it worth to keep an eye on it, what makes it even more interesting is the fact that Phil Tippett with his studio is working with HappyGiant Games on the project. The guy is not one to be taken lightly. He is the guy behind the visual effects of Return of the Jedi and Jurassic Park, just to name the two movies that earned him (and his crew) an Oscar. The Tippett Studio takes part on the project and curates the visual side of the game, particularly the creatures that will make its bread and butter. HappyGiant Games will make heavy use of Photogrammetry for Hologrid, a technology aimed to digitize Tippett's handmade creatures into 3D assets to be used in the game.
“For years I’ve been making monsters for Directors to play with, and now for the first time, I’m making monsters for YOU to play with,” said Tippett. “We’re excited about the new fields of Augmented and Virtual Reality, and to be working with our friends at HappyGiant to create HoloGrid: Monster Battle.”
As of now, the guys at HappyGiant games are considering various publishing options, including crowdfunding, to make the game into a reality. While Hologrid: Monster Battle is just slightly more than a game concept at the moment and we don't really know much about it yet, it's undeniable that considering the talents involved (both from HappyGiant Games and Tippet Studio), something good can definitely come out of it.
What do you think of this announcement? You think that Hologrid: Monster Battle could lead the way to Augmented Reality board games? Let us know in the comments.